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It’s a Lock

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More than just beer: Downtown’s Lock 27 Lock 27’s Bacon Bites (left) with honey mustard and Pierogies with sour cream. By Paula Johnson It’s been more than three years since I reviewed Lock 27 Brewing’s original location on Main Street in Centerville. When I discovered that owner Steve Barnhart had plans to develop a location […]

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The 411 on Diner 416

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A welcome addition to the Oregon District’s food chain The Hunter Hoagie features chicken, steak, two cheeses, and more. Be sure to add the potato twists! By Paula Johnson Diner Divergence I’ve written recently about what makes a good diner, and the value that places like diners have in modern American society, as a “third […]

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The story continues…

Daily Special Cajun chicken and Rice with green salad_6534

Xenia’s Tables Of Contents Café begins a new chapter The day’s special was Cajun chicken and Rice with green salad, but the entire menu changes from day to day. By Paula Johnson It’s Still On The Table I really hate it when I have to change things up right in the middle of something. The […]

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What’s in a name?

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Hibachi, sushi, and other Asian delights at Englewood’s Ozu852 Chef’s inspiration sushi and sashimi combo By Paula Johnson Heavenly Sushi On a recent Thursday evening, PIP (Palate In Progress) and I found ourselves in the mood for sushi. In truth, PIP is in the mood for sushi every day, and his interest was piqued when […]

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No fry zone, no small fry

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Sports, snacks, and suds at Springboro’s Mr. Boro’s Tavern Popular favorite grilled cheese with the only fried item on the menu, kettle chips. By Paula Johnson No Kidding A sports-themed tavern opened last year on Route 741 in Springboro to a bit of controversy. The space, which once housed wine bar Bella Vino, posted a […]

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Seoul Train

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Yung’s Tteokbokki features springy stir-fried rice cake noodles Yung’s Tteokbokki features springy stir-fried rice cake noodles By Paula Johnson Korean Cuisine – The Next Wave The forward to one of the hottest cookbooks last year, and a New York Times bestseller, is about Korean cuisine. It’s called “Koreatown: A Cookbook” by Deuki Hong and Matt […]

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One hotel of a surprise

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Dewberry 1850 serves savory favorites at UD’s Marriott The meatball appetizer at Dewberry 1850 By Paula Johnson Ho-tel No! – It’s fairly well known that there are myriad reasons why you should avoid eating at a hotel, but in case you’re wondering, here are a few of them: high cost, bland, predictable food, and lack […]

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Let’s all sit down and say, “Gracie’s”

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Middletown’s Gracie’s: delicious and unique Gracie’s occasional steak entrée special By Paula Johnson   The dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” Amy Vitori defined faith by purchasing the old JC Penney building in Middletown and putting a restaurant in it (also a children’s play place, hair salon, and yoga […]

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The art of going solo

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Dining alone with expertise By Paula Johnson Who dines alone if they don’t have to? Open Table, the most popular online booking site, has experienced a whopping 62 percent increase in solo bookings over the past two years, so somebody’s doing it, and it doesn’t seem to be just those who are forced into it […]

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The new home cook

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Meal prep kits and what the future holds for how we cook and weat Photo: All ingredients come freshly packaged and ready to cook By Paula Johnshon The rise of convenience food in the mid ‘50s gave us commercially prepared, highly processed, prepackaged food. Most of us grew up with ready-to-eat frozen foods such as […]

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Ethnic exit

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Why it’s time to 86 the term ‘ethnic restaurant’ By Paula Johnson What is “ethnic food,” exactly? Writer Bruce Palling asked this question in 2011, and he found that key food dictionaries such as “Larousse Gastronomique” and the “Oxford Companion to Food” did not mention it at all. Google the definition of “ethnic food” and […]

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Cat-ffeine

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Prepare to socialize over coffee, kitties at Gem City Catfé   Photo: (left) Kitty-face meringues to be served at the Gem City Catfé and (above) Hugh from the Humane Society, which will have cats up for adoption By Paula Johnson It’s fitting that the soon-to-be-open Gem City Catfé is located in the St. Anne’s Hill […]

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The must-do choo-choo

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All aboard the Cincinnati Dinner Train (l-r) Cincinnati Dinner Train performer, the prime rib dinner, and exterior of the train; photos: Paula Johnson By Paula Johnson The elegant, parchment-style ticket bearing your name, train car, and table assignment is punched by a uniformed porter. A line of people dressed up for the evening present their […]

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In the beginning, it was frozen

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DCP dining critic takes readers through her food journey, debuts rating system photo: DCP dining critic Paula Johnson’s love of food and restaurants started with her mother By Paula Johnson I am often asked what I am looking for when I review a restaurant. That’s the question that’s asked right after “How did you get that […]

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At the kids table

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Dining, learning with children By Paula Johnson Photo: Teaching your little ones basic social skills in a restaurant ensures a more enjoyable experience for everyone Q: Still looking for restaurants with family sections so we can have dinner without being interrupted by screaming children, which is annoying especially when paying a premium price for food. […]

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Chef’s confessions

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An inside look at the secret food vices of Dayton’s chefs By Paula Johnson Photo: A bowl of cold cereal is one of chef Darin Mitchell’s (Coco’s Bistro) favorite guilty food pleasures   Recently, it happened again. I was driving near the Dayton Mall. It doesn’t happen often, maybe once or twice a year, but […]

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Plugged In

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The next sound you hear will be…well, I don’t know what it will be but I know what it won’t […]

Debate 6/12: A tweet too far

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Was anyone really surprised? Roseanne Barr has stepped in it again. Always a loose cannon, she managed to offend just […]

If you’ve seen one ‘Ocean’, you’ve seen ‘Ocean’s 8’

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Near the start of “Ocean’s 8,” we’re led to believe that Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is dead and his sister […]

Gin and Tonic on the Horizon

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On June 13, The Rose Music Center is the place to be to get your 90s nostalgia fix as Gin […]

Goodnight Goodnight’s new morning

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“We’ve known Larry for years,” says Gary Thornton of Goodnight Goodnight. He’s talking about the newest addition to their lineup, […]